When we last left you in Long Branch State Park (see blog post), we had a bad starter battery and we weren't 100% sure we were going to make it out of the park on our departure day. Thank the gods, when Barry pressed the 'use the house batteries' switch and turned the key to fire up the engine, Pearl started right up. What a relief!
We drove straight to an auto supply store in nearby Macon and purchased a new battery. This one is an AGM that doesn't need water and should be maintenance free. We had replaced our house batteries with AGMs down in Florida, so it was good to have a full complement of fresh batteries now. We had no idea how old the starter battery was as it was not marked with a date.
After leaving Macon, we continued heading east. Today we would add yet another state to Pearl's tally: Illinois.
After that brief detour, we continued on our way. We spent the night at Double J Campground, a commercial park near Springfield. It was just slightly off our route so very convenient for a one-night stop.
Double J is a well-kept, fairly large commercial park with pull-through, full hookup sites among pretty green trees and grass. It is in a flat area so sites are quite level. By our frugal standards, this is a fairly expensive park at $40/night (which includes our 10% Good Sam discount), but the park's amenities are good. Our nightly rate included cable TV, a nice luxury. We were also able to pick up a variety of over-the-air stations with our antenna. Verizon 4G LTE signal was strong, as was the park wi-fi.
The laundry room was small but adequate, and bathrooms were immaculate. There is a mini-golf course and a pool in the summer. There is "dog park", but it's not fully enclosed, and dogs have to be on-leash, so it is more of a grassy area to walk your dog, not a true dog park. There was nice walking around the park but we really couldn’t walk anywhere from it, as it was off the interstate frontage road.
Since it was the off season (early October), the park wasn't very full, and it was quiet. There are quite a few seasonal trailers and rigs in back-in perimeter sites plus a few in pull-through sites. The park is open year-round. There was road noise from I-55, so we slept with ear plugs.
We were lucky enough to have no neighbors on either side, so our pleasant site felt bigger than it was. The owners are pretty strict about putting nothing on the grass (patio mats, tents, etc), which is why the sites look so nice, but might not be everyone's cup of tea. The rules certainly didn't bother us for one night, and we would definitely stay here again if we were in the area.
Next stop, Indiana!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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